On many afternoons I will visit children the community, and have bible clubs. They enjoy songs, memory verses, bible stories, and the occasional jolly rancher.
Usually there are no behavioural issues, but lately I noticed bible club wasn’t working as well as it used to.
- The children didn’t pay attention to me
- They were constantly getting distracted, and interrupting me
- And some no longer listened to me when I asked them to do things
It isn’t uncommon for individuals (especially children) to become bored with a form of ministry. In that moment a hard decision has to be made. Do I keep doing things the same way, and lose their interest? Or do I change this ministry to keep their interest?
This is an easy question to answer……but applying the answer is difficult.
Obviously it’s better to have the interest of individuals. But that means admitting that something isn’t working, and starting again.
It’s amazing how easy it is to cling to an ineffective form of ministry just because we are too embarrassed to say it isn’t working.
It is embarrassing when something that we put our heart and soul into doesn’t work the way it should. But that shame is actually a mercy of God since He is showing us what needs to change. And through it, He calls us to a stronger form of ministry.
After giving bible club some thought, I re-instituted the Bible club mat (a tablecloth) and “reading circle.” This allowed me to make direct eye contact with all of the children during the lesson, and keep their attention. I also switched materials to something that they found more interesting.
Seeing the interest in their eyes as we talked about Moses and the plagues reminded me how often forms of ministry become more precious than doctrine itself. In earlier years when a ministry wasn’t working properly I’d spend lots of time trying to “make it work” even though I knew it wasn’t the Lords will.
I’m thankful that the Lord has taught me to hold ministry forms with an open hand. That way He can remove them, and add others as He sees fit.